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Northern Ireland

Volume 13: debated on Monday 23 November 1981

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asked the Secretary of State for Defence what was the total cost for defence purposes in Northern Ireland in the last financial year, disregarding any payments made out of the Northern Ireland Consolidated Fund.

It is not possible to make a precise estimate of the total cost of maintaining forces in Northern Ireland as no detailed records are maintained for this particular purpose. However, the extra cost of military operations in Northern Ireland in the financial year 1980–81 is estimated at £111 million on the basis of outturn prices. As from the present financial year, we are adopting a new method of calculating the extra cost which will involve an annual assessment of the resources required to fulfil those tasks which relate directly to the emergency. I am satisfied that this will provide a more accurate picture than the existing method which is based on certain costing assumptions that have now outlived their usefulness.